Graduating to management is a huge achievement, however, it also marks the start of a bigger challenge. Have you been promoted for the first time to management? You must be excited about your new job and are ready to take charge, but may also be feeling uneasy. This is normal. There is a big difference between being an individual contributor to the team and managing the team.
As a new manager, you likely made it into a manager position because you proved you could be successful at the job you were doing as an individual contributor, but not because you proved your ability to manage a group of individual contributors. New managers must learn how to lead others rather than do the work themselves, motivate, manage their peers, earn trust and respect, and strike the right balance between delegation and control. It is a transition many find challenging to make.
Promotion into management is an exciting rite of passage for any new graduate. But there are many pitfalls to avoid as one sharpens their skills in an all-around way. While the new manager is recognized for the technical skills, self and other people management is a minefield. Why are there so many hurdles in the management journey? Linda Hill and Kent in their book, Becoming a Boss highlight three reasons why management is hard:
- Management is different from anything you have done before.
- Becoming a manager requires personal learning and change
- Being a manager is a journey, it is a transformation that cannot happen overnight.
The idea of management is not hard; putting it into practice is why the challenges begin. (Hill & Lineback)
In her article in the Harvard Business Review, Linda Hill notes that “One of the first things new managers discover is that their role, by definition a stretch assignment, is even more demanding than they had anticipated. They are surprised to learn that the skills and methods required for success as an individual contributor and those required for success as a manager are starkly different—and that there is a gap between their current capabilities and the requirements of the new position.”
Speaking during a webinar session dubbed: Leading in the Post Pandemic World- A Roadmap for Success for New Managers, Fred Ruoro, Managing Director- General Business at CIC Group gave new managers and emerging leaders some helpful tips on how to effectively ease into a new management role:
- Learn to delegate
- Be self-aware
- Coordinate your team
- Monitor your team
- Hold your team accountable for their tasks
- Motivate your team
Looking back at the onset of the pandemic, new managers were launched into a new role in unprecedented times, a tough challenge indeed. How did they cope and what are some of the issues that they faced. Speaking during the webinar, Fred Ruoro noted that his new managers found that this period actively demanded three critical skills: communication, resilience, and a learning mindset. He highlighted six major issues that his new managers encountered when managing remote teams: Social isolation, mental wellness, performance management, trust, driving productivity, and lack of consistent communication.
Navigating the leadership terrain as a new manager is hard. For new managers amidst the pandemic, the journey was even tougher with so many firsts and unknowns coupled with the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.
Our New Managers Leadership Programme aims at equipping new managers with adequate skills in the various areas of management as they transition from being successful individual contributors to effective managers.
- L,& Lineback. K. (2011). Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader. 2011
- Hill L. (2007). Becoming the Boss, Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2007/01/becoming-the-boss
Article by Juliet Hinga
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